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One Common Faith

by Baha'i International Community

Edition 1, (September 2006)


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Baha'i Terms of Use FOREWORD ONE COMMON FAITH "There is every reason for confidence that the period of history now..." "The reawakened interest in religion is clearly far from having reached..." "In addition to disillusionment with the promises of materialism, a..." "Throughout history, the primary agents of spiritual development have..." "The dilemma is both artificial and self inflicted. The world order, if..." "The objection most commonly raised against the foregoing conception..." "Freed from the thickets with which theology has hedged religious..." "Confusion about the role of religion in cultivating moral..." "The exigencies of the new age of human experience to which..." "The power through which these goals will be progressively realized is..." "A corollary of the abandonment of faith in God has been a paralysis of..." "Everything in its history has equipped the Bahá'í..." "One of the distinguishing features of modernity has been the universal..."


At Ridván 2002, we addressed an open letter to the world's religious leaders. Our action arose out of awareness that the disease of sectarian hatreds, if not decisively checked, threatens harrowing consequences that will leave few areas of the world unaffected. The letter acknowledged with appreciation the achievements of the interfaith movement, to which Bahá'ís have sought to contribute since an early point in the movement's emergence. Nevertheless, we felt we must be forthright in saying that, if the religious crisis is to be addressed as seriously as is occurring with respect to other prejudices afflicting humankind, organized religion must find within itself a comparable courage to rise above fixed conceptions inherited from a distant past.

Above all, we expressed our conviction that the time has come when religious leadership must face honestly and without further evasion the implications of the truth that God is one and that, beyond all diversity of cultural expression and human interpretation, religion is likewise one. It was intimations of this truth that originally inspired the interfaith movement and that have sustained it through the vicissitudes of the past one hundred years. Far from challenging the validity of any of the great revealed faiths, the principle has the capacity to ensure their continuing relevance. In order to exert its influence, however, recognition of this reality must operate at the heart of religious discourse, and it was with this in mind that we felt that our letter should be explicit in articulating it.

Response has been encouraging. Bahá'í institutions throughout the world ensured that thousands of copies of the document were delivered to influential figures in the major faith communities. While it was perhaps not surprising that the message it contained was dismissed out of hand in a few circles, Bahá'ís report that, in general, they were warmly welcomed... Continue reading book >>

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